Russian Navy Ship 'Aggressively Approached' U.S. Destroyer In Arabian Sea
By RFE/RL January 10, 2020
The U.S. Navy says a Russian ship has "aggressively approached" an American destroyer that was conducting routine operations in the North Arabian Sea.
USS Farragut sounded five blasts to warn the Russian Navy ship of a possible collision and requested it change course, the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said in a statement on January 10.
The incident took place the previous day.
"The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course and the two ships opened distance from one another," it said.
Even though the Russian ship moved away, the statement said that "the initial delay in complying with international rules while it was making an aggressive approach increased the risk of collision."
Russia denied the U.S. version of events.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. Navy vessel crossed the Russian ship's path, in an action described as "unprofessional" and deemed as "an intentional violation of international maritime security norms," according to Russian news agencies.
The Farragut was in the region as part of the strike group attached to the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, deployed late last year to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran.
There has been a rise in near-miss encounters between Russian and Western aircraft or warships since relations soured in 2014.
With reporting by Reuters and AFP
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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